LightFair 2022, held June 21-23 in Las Vegas, was something of a reboot after last year’s show, which was held in New York during the pandemic. Attendance was about the same as last year (about 10,000), but the number of exhibitors was slightly lower (327 exhibitors), with several significant regulars choosing to skip this year (eg Acuity Brands, Lutron).

LightFair 2022 trade show. (Image courtesy of LightFair)

In line with the greater emphasis on IoT and related technologies within the lighting industry, there were several exhibitors demonstrating their IoT expertise. However, not everyone accepts that implementing multi-site wireless control is automatically the best solution for a given project. Several exhibitors demonstrated their more streamlined approach to lighting control, arguing that the main reason for the limited market penetration of lighting control systems is the complexity of the system and the costs that come with it. Other contributing factors are the security and reliability, or rather the potential lack thereof, of wireless systems, especially for facilities such as hospitals, schools, and correctional facilities.

LightFair Innovation Awards covered a diverse selection of new offerings, including products to address current busyness with health concerns, as well as the lighting industry’s shift from lighting products per se to connectivity technologies. As an example, McWong International The long-range Bluetooth Mesh Gadget Controller is aimed at outdoor lighting applications where the cost of wiring can be prohibitive. The device includes an antenna that achieves a range of 900 feet, much longer than typical Bluetooth products. A dimming signal of 0 to 10 V to the fixture driver is provided based on commands received via Bluetooth network from the network controller.

Bluetooth Mesh Controller with Long Range Antenna from McWong International. (Image courtesy of LightFair)

of Keystone The latest addition to its SmartLoop line is a control module that simply screws into fixtures that are equipped with a SmartPort socket. This product is for use in applications where access to the controller module to make adjustments is particularly cumbersome, i.e. installations in high rooms. The module includes an integrated daylight sensor and a PIR motion detector. Controller settings are accessible using a phone scheduling application.

Screw-in controller from Keystone. (Image courtesy of Keystone)

In response to concerns about COVID, Clean lightingThe cylindrical downlight with integrated UVC upper air chamber for bactericidal treatment is designed for use in spaces where large numbers of people gather and aesthetics are a concern, such as theaters and auditoriums. The concept image below shows the UVC disinfection function taking place at the top of the fixture, with downward light emanating from the bottom.

Cylindrical downlight with integrated top aerial UVC camera from Pure Lighting. (Image courtesy of LightFair)

And as a final example, a smart product in the specialty lighting category, the Viso Labarazzi The Temporal Light Artifact Generator (TLA) provides 26 preset flicker patterns and the ability to create custom patterns. This device is intended for use in testing other TLA response products as well as for demonstration purposes.

TLA Generator by Viso Labarazzi. (Image courtesy of Viso Systems)

Industry talk about the future of LightFair, which boasted an attendance of more than 25,000 in its heyday, has focused on the viability of this type of trade show. What seems to be viewed more favorably in recent months is the concept of regional shows, which emphasize smaller, cheaper venues and lower travel costs. While the pandemic is likely to be the main driver of this potential realignment, companies have certainly had reason in the past few years to review their overall travel budgets.

And under the heading of “what goes around comes around,” at least 43 attendees contracted COVID during or after the show. Hopefully next year’s show, which returns to New York on May 23-25, will take place with the pandemic firmly behind us.

—Yoelit Hiebert has worked in the field of LED lighting for over 10 years and has experience in both the manufacturing and end-user side of the industry.

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